For most people, being arrested and charged with a criminal offense is a frightening experience. The most immediate concern is usually getting released from custody by bonding out. Once out, however, you will like start to worry about the eventual outcome of your case. Specifically, you may want to know if you will get probation in Tennessee for your offense if you are convicted. Not even an experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorney can promise you what the outcome of your case will be unless a plea agreement has been reached; however, there are a number of common factors that typically go into determining if a defendant will receive a probation sentence. A better understanding of those factors may help you to feel better informed and, therefore, less anxious about your case.
If both you and the offense for which you are charged are eligible for a probation only sentence, there are several factors a prosecutor or judge will look at when deciding to offer probation, in the case of a prosecutor, or sentence you to probation in the case of a judge. Those factors include:
- Severity of the offense – the more serious the offense, the more likely it is that you will be required to serve a term of incarceration. In Tennessee, offenses are first divided into misdemeanors or felonies with felonies being the more serious offenses. Felonies are then further divided into class A through Class E felonies, with class A felonies being the most serious. A conviction for a misdemeanor or class E felony is more likely to result in a probation only sentence than a conviction for a class A, B, C, or D felony.
- Your criminal history – your criminal history, or lack thereof, will play a significant role in your sentence. Regardless of how insignificant the current offense may seem, you could end up serving a term of incarceration because you have a lengthy criminal history prior to this offense.
- Victim input – if there is a victim involved the victim’s input is usually important. If the victim advocates for leniency you are in good shape; however, if the victim wants you to serve time that could adversely influence the prosecutor or judge.
If you are currently facing criminal charges in Tennessee and are worried about the outcome of your case, contact the experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorneys at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.